What Running the Boston Marathon Taught Me About Employee Performance

Or When the Human Spirit Triumphs Over the Search for The Best

Today is Patriots Day. Unless you live in Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, or Connecticut -- or you run marathons -- the third Monday in April is probably just another day for you. But for people in Boston, this is a holiday. And like they have for the last 122 years on this holiday, they host the Boston Marathon. For marathoners, the 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boylston Street at Copely Square are the most storied on the planet.

The author 6 miles into the Boston Marathon. Just 20 miles to go!

I’m a runner. Though I’m not a very good one, I’ve been a runner all my life. And though I never thought I’d be ballsy enough to run a marathon, I always paid attention to this race. I fancied myself a competitor one day. A girl can dream, can't she?

In 2009 I had the opportunity to run Boston. While I was not good enough to qualify—literally, not by 30+ minutes for a woman my age—I ran it for a charity. I was honored to raise money for the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that provides support and resources for young women with breast cancer.

Running Boston is a tremendous experience. In 2009, about 25,000 toed the line at the start. The city is abuzz for days ahead of the race as preparations are made and 25,000 of the fittest people descend on the city. On race day, yellow school buses transport the athletes along the Massachusetts Turnpike out to the town of Hopkinton 30 miles away. Which is cool. Until you realize that, to get back to your hotel downtown, you must run 26. 2 miles. But the 500,000 people lining the roads to cheer on the runners offer a level of support not found at your typical marathon.